Chapter 38: The Beast in the City

Energia: Titans of Verità
Table of Contents (For Catching Up)

Anna stared at the monster, her whole body tense. This is bad this is bad this is really really bad!! Panic clouded her thoughts like a thick smog. Only the rapid hammering of her heart broke through the sound of the beast’s roar.

Her mother’s notes flashed through her mind. Ragno. Massive beast, six arms, predatory. Hostile by nature. Do not provoke if possible. Try to kill before being spotted. If sighted, flee.

Anna knew there was sense in those words. Her mother was nothing if not wise. But she had trouble making her legs heed that wisdom. They remained frozen in place, as if the monstrous alien would attack if she dared.

The Ragno stepped forward, baring its fangs…

…then the shot took it in the shoulder.

A spray of thick silver liquid splashed the nearby warehouses and the yellow concrete. A hideous screeching escaped the Ragno’s mouth as one of its hands reached for the wound. The others went wild, smashing the surroundings without restraint.

Anna’s instincts took control. She scooped Aila up in her arms and bolted, running from the monster at blinding speeds. While her surroundings became a blur of colors, the Ragno’s frame was as crisp and clear as if she were standing still. Another quirk of her E-Suit? There was no time to think about it. She needed to get away. She needed-

She stopped abruptly, skidding across the ground as her momentum was suddenly cut off. I’m panicking. She realized. Again! I’m doing it again!

She thought back to her encounter with the Mangiatore in the jungle. The rising terror in her chest. Her forgetting how to fight it. Her having to be rescued by Hinata. The shame. The humiliation. The failure.

Not again. Never again!

She set Aila down and turned back to face the monster. She’d only been running for a minute or so but it had already leveled three warehouses. If this thing got into the city proper…

“Run.” She whispered to Aila. “That way. Go! Now!”

The little girl stared at her, eyes wide in terror and wet with tears. She was like a small statue, frozen in place. All she could do was tremble.

“Run!” Anna repeated, raising her voice to a shout.

She realized her mistake immediately. Even before the monster locked its eyes onto her. She met its gaze, seeing the red fury in its glistening black eyes.

The Ragno charged. Anna just barely had enough time to grab her rifle and take aim. The monster was fast! It raised its fists into the air, preparing to slam it down on top of the two. Anna’s finger squeezed the trigger, but she already knew it was too late.

The monstrous alien roared as it swung.

Then the air exploded.

Anna had just enough time to shield Aila with her body. The force slammed into her less than a second later, throwing her forward. She twisted to absorb the impact as the two bounced and rolled away. Behind them, Anna heard the Ragno shriek in agony.

A hand as large as her torso caught Anna, stopping her mid-roll. Her vision spun as she looked up. Who was-

Oh god dammit.

“You,” Tommy Decker said in a metallic voice, “are a magnet for trouble, aren’t you?”

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